Aledo goalkeeper Ryland Yates turned back two Fort Worth South Hills’ shootout kicks to pace the Bearcats to a 1-0 victory (4-3 in shootout) over the Scorpions to win the boys’ Moritz-Kia Tournament of Champions Saturday night at Bearcat Stadium.
It was the first time since 2011 the Bearcats (7-0-1) have won their home tournament. It was also the second tournament the Bearcats have won in as many weeks. Aledo won the Boswell tournament last weekend.
Yates was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
After Aledo’s Trey Guilbault scored on his penalty kick in the overtime shootout session – to give the Bearcats a 4-3 advantage – Yates, who stopped the first South Hills’ shot, needed one more save to clinch the win.
On South Hills’ ensuing shot, Yates dived to his right, stabbed the ball with an extended leg and watched the ball roll safely out of harms way as his teammates rushed the field to mob their ‘keeper.
“As a goalkeeper on a PK (penalty kick) it is supposed to be an educated guess (as to which direction to dive),” Yates said. “But their first two shooters went (shot) down the middle and that made me think they were going down the middle again.
“(The South Hills shooter) went down the middle but a little bit to my right, and I got my foot on it and it just barely missed the post. We are happy to get the win, and winning two tournaments is a big confidence builder.”
Micco Little, Tyler Oetinger, Tommy Breaux and Guilbault each scored in the shootout.
The match was scoreless in regulation. South Hills had two good opportunities to score in the first half, but one shot bounded off the post and another close-range shot was chipped over the cross bar.
South Hills, which did a good job of possessing the ball in the second half, could never finish as Yates turned back every shot, including a diving save on another close-range attempt.
The Scorpions, however, kept pushing and in the final minutes missed two excellent chances to score. The first came with 1:20 left in regulation when a 10-yard blast in front of the net hit the goal post and bounced away to safety.
But eight seconds later, Yates made another diving save to keep the match scoreless as it went into overtime, which in this tournament goes directly to penalty kicks.
For more on the Bearcats and the Ladycats at this tournament see the Jan. 17 issue of The Community News.